I forgot

Hi. Sorry not to post today. I forgot to eat for most of the day, mostly due to excitement that January's gonna be over in fourteen minutes. It's a psychological victory, and I am held together by 3M Scotch brand tape, but hooray!


Global Time Is Now

It's a bizarre day, and I'd say that it was something like "curious" if it were over, but it's not. There's that feeling akin to, "Alright. I'm done, and have seen quite enough. Can't we just make tomorrow longer and have the day end RIGHT NOW?"

I'll say that I said that it was good with me. And let us surmise that suddenly it was/is tomorrow. But somehow I've got to signify that, yes?

Why? To whom? To myself? Quoi?

It doesn't have to mean anything, which is just as well, because it doesn't mean anything. Necessarily. Because as "objective" as measures would like and are proclaimed to be, we're still assessing the assessment with imprecise circuitry.

Writing this outrageously stupid post , for instance, is something to which I could attribute signifying status (cf. significance), heralding a proverbial dawn, but the fact that to write this, let alone read this, is so very tedious is a de facto entreaty that it be lumped/clumped/dumped into posts of yore.

But I'm not finished, suddenly, and that's very difficult news for me to accept. So, I'll be concise.

We need to abolish time zones. I mean it. Everywhere'd be the same, operating according to the International Date Line. We would be so much happier with the freedom to generate our own associations. Here in Maine, the sun would rise at noon. But it would aso rise when it rises.

The tsunami of Boxing Day, 2004 happened. On that, we can all agree. But for Molly and me, then residing in Seattle, WA (in PST, which is GMT -0800), it was very much still Christmas. While that is an arbitrary example, it sort of underscores the dissonance germane to having a world that factionalizes simultaneous experience. With all of these foolish e-devices and i-contraptions everywhere, fetishizing immediacy, it's a wonder that the subject has yet to be broached.

When I introduced the concept of time-zone abolition to friends back in 2002, I was met with this response. I'll actually quote my friend, Nicholas Barker: "That is, without a doubt, the stupidest idea that I have EVER heard."

Meanwhile, I even devised a slogan, for promotional purposes: GLOBAL TIME IS NOW. This, sadly, was misinterpreted to have Zen leanings, but the reality is much nerdier, and cooler than that, because the reality is not that it is now; it's that now is flanked by thens, into which others are shoehorned unjustly. So, I humbly suggest that we reset and sychronize our timepieces in favor of something more equitable.

Let us now have a moment of silence, please. Yes. Now


Sell See Us

Brunswick, Maine.

Last Saturday of January.
Sunny, lithely approaching 5°C.

The metric system is good practice for us. It scares most Americans. I will lay it down here to be simple about it.

Water freezes. Water boils. Both of these things happen at certain temperatures.

Take the temperature range between freezing and boiling.

Divide that space between into 100 pieces—for the sake of this post, they’ll be known as degrees.

Freezing is 0°. Boiling is 100°. Consider that 50° (the midpoint, if you will, between boiling and freezing) is scarcely borne by most humans (it’s 122° Fahrenheit). I’ll “chart” it up to that in increments of 5° for anyone that cares, along with some moralistic proclamation of little-or-less repute:

0°C                              32°F                Freezing. Many objects/subjects are frozen solid, especially objects/subjects that were solid beforehand. Water turns to ice, which had been water beforehand. This is not right. Nobody can pretend anymore once freezing occurs; even if you like ice, it must be acknowledged that you can’t do things without clothes without problems.

5°C                              41°F                Cold enough to curse yourself and others, but pretty survivable, if you don’t get wet. Some people are really into this. They are not right. (This is the temperature threshold for refrigeration, by the way. Please refrain from carrying anyone over this threshold.)

10°C                            50°F                Warm enough for the people to be jubilant in winter, yet cool enough for parents on a camping trip to want to hurl themselves off of elevated surfaces in despair. They’re both right.

15°C                            59°F                Mild and pretty merciful. This is also a tropical paradise for people ensconced by the hostile-indeed elements. Yet it’s not a panacea—if it were accompanied by precipitation, then it would be most unpleasant. You’d swear it as divine retribution for some illusory trespass, but bystanders would suggest that you were wallowing a bit. They would be right.

20°C                            68°F                “Room temperature” is a misnomer whose use is sufficiently frequent as to enjoy near-unanimous recognition in our sad little lives. A room can be any temperature when a bunch of whateverness is pumped into it. It is not right.

25°C                            77°F                This is possibly the only neighborhood of temperatures that can boast having universality of appeal. No one complains—even in New England, where that’s kind of their “thing.” Instead, they complain about the past (it’s over) or the future (it’s endless). Everyone is right, but everything remains wrong.

30°C                            86°F                Transcribing these values just now, I swooned in my idealization of this beatific temperature. On a day of this temperature, if you really want to do so, you can listen closely for the unconvincing mutterings/utterances from elderly gadfly types; it is crucial to remember, however, that they're continuing to live only out of spite. Or you can mutter your own utterance. It's only right and natural.

35°C                            95°F                This satisfies existing thermal criteria for hot. It does not have to be unpleasant, either—I used to drive a little Geo Metro, and on days where conditions were thus, I’d get into my car, roll up the windows (if they’d been opened), start the car, activate the heater at full intensity, and sit there. That was right before my diagnosis.

40°C                            104°F              I have always referred to this as “riot weather,” because unrest is fomented in all living things, and it can get very nasty. This is a real swelter. I’m not even enjoying writing to you about it in my blog; I’ve caught myself holding my breath and tensing my shoulders. It couldn’t possibly be right.

45°C                            113°F              Does anybody actually like this kind of heat? As a species, we can generally handle 40° (104°F) before things go awry with our bodies. After that, we lose the right to make rational choices, like the heat has flagrantly usurped Power of Attorney, but worse, because your brain is cooking inside your head. Basically, by now it behooves us not to think of ourselves as living creatures per se, but to adjust our expectations of ourselves and each other.

50°C                            122°F              Previously discussed.


That Is Really Something

Hi, all.

Typing these very characters, I wonder if anyone is out there. (not like "out there," because wow man i know). Seldom are people forewarned of the difficulties intrinsic to sustaining momentum while in solitude.

There is a need for any readers of this to say things to me, so that I might respond to those said things. There's an intensive transition underway regarding this site and all, and I've no wish for this blog to suffocate in the bog that needs traversing.

So, please? I promise that I'll respond. Thank you.


Definition and Meaning (Not Even)

It's been a WEEK? Holy carp.

Something occurred, or must’ve done, to keep me away from this pleasant activity of posting daily. That’s fine; all that we are is irrefutably older. But the atoms and molecules that comprise us are ever assiduous in so doing, and they seem still to be keen on it, even if it is January, which it definitely is.

I’m pretty sure that I took my SATs on this day in 1991. (It’s astounding to me that that was twenty-one years ago. Babies that were conceived to a soundtrack of Michael Bolton, or Wilson Phillips, or Richard Marx, or the Pretty Woman soundtrack, can now legally purchase hooch. And, why not? They need it bad, I bet.) I remember those anniversaries and details like that to demarcate the passing of time, during both this onerous winter and this clustrophobic vastness of a life-and-living apparatus. I guess that you’d call something like that calendular—like the flower, maybe, but made of iceberg lettuce. Wait.

I’m putting myself to sleep with how excruciatingly boring I am. I’d like to say that it used to be different, but my thoughts are stale units of torpor, like rotten things float, by the time they surface, all gussied up with such idiocies as sentence structure.

Anyway, as pivotal experiences go, that SATurday morning was an especially vivid one, all cruxy and such. Such mundane situations as that frightfully cold and sunny, standing awkwardly in a high-school parking lot with a bunch of other middle-school students (I was 12 at the time), waiting to take our SATs and pretending that I hadn’t underdressed, commenced a change in the course of my life.

The SAT? It’s a test, alright. I forget its length, but I recall it as having been 4 hours in duration. Like nobody ever had a blanking bladder. At any rate, this was the work of a nameless Smartypants organization so as to kinda, you know, objectify the aptitudes of others. Because I had an extremely difficult time reading under fluorescent lights (and nobody but me knew this, because I had no wish to be humiliated), I filled in random dots on significant portions of my test. And this changed everything, because I did pretty well, and I received a scholarship for a college course. I didn’t use that for a couple of years, until just after I’d failed 9th grade. I took the only course that was available—Feminine and Feminist Ethics—and it was stunning. Noy only did I love it, but I was given the first “decent” grade (out of charity?) that I’d received in several years. It made sense for me to do something different, so I did, and I stopped going to high school, which was the most.

All that bygone superfluity aside, we experienced yesterday the ballyhooed JANUARY THAW. (It’s happened both later than usual and rather precipitously, even thoough Brunswick has been about 7 degrees above “average” for months now, so it’s just like the more-merciful-but-nonetheless-cruel western Maryland that I know so well. But, what a glorious and disruptive havoc it was here! The puddles were positively enormous. The sun was bright.

It was interesting to see that, despite this anomaly, everybody wanted for it to be even warmer than it was, and at last, I realized: the thermal spectrum of what a person can withstand diminishes with age. I mean, I knew that, but what I hadn’t realized is that the threshold of temperature tolerance on both sides (hot and cold) recedes incrementally. Observing the ways in which I am less robust than before, I did some informal projections with whatever stunted and haphazard mathphysics awareness has voluntarily gone dormant inside of me, and the conclusion landed me—finally, flatly, and firmly—at one place on the thermometer:

Seventy (70) degrees. ROOM TEMPERATURE. Next thing they'll tell me is that the afterlife is climate-controlled.




DNR Rescinded

I have sworn in the past.

And I did swear in the past that I would never resuscitate older blog posts.

It's been determined, however, that I should, because the archiving system on Blogger is something that my ritardando brain cannot grasp.

As such and to this end, highlights of posts past will appear here over the coming time units, because we’ll all be dead before too, too long, and it’s better not to be difficult.

To demonstrate the solidity (but not strength) of my convictions, I will place an asterisk before the post title (e.g., *Nothing Is Ever Good). Hooray.

No Fun Intended

The vicissitudes of January in Maine bother the heck out of me. I will admit, however reluctantly, that I am grateful to be living on this frigid overcast unday, but just because my vocally espousing the alternative (i.e., not living) would abnegate all of the specific goodnesses, general greatness and so forth of this milieu, but today is like a hackneyed quip at which there is a perceived obligation to respond pleasantly, even though such denial is incrementally lethal.

This post was going to comprise bits that I'd begun but was too exhausted to complete, but no.

Instead, I'll talk about something else, in the hopes that it will improve my altogether-turdly disposition.

Ready? I bet you are.

I'm gonna write a book. (You don't have to read it or anything.)

"What kind of book?" is a rhetorical question that I refuse answer until the sentence that follows this sentence.

It'll be an encyclopædia that contains "facts" and "opinions" (including theories).

The subject? Popular music, because current studies indicate that popularity is sexier than intercourse itself.

Aaaannnd…because a claim of objectivity, like a clumsy generalization, is itself a recipe for betrayal on its own terms (never trust anything that identifies itself as "true" or "accurate," because I could broadcast the "fact" that I would bite myself if I were a dog, and the audience would have NO BASIS for dissension), there can be a caveat in the book's opening pages about the urgent importance of metaphor to describe "untranslatable" sentiments, events, trends, ad nauseam.

I posted an entry just now, for nobody's benefit, but then I removed it, for nobody's benefit. And I badly want to conclude this post, but first I'll tell you about young Desmond's new family of not-exactly-visible friends. What I find most thrilling about them is, I'll admit, a bit shallow. I will leave you with their names, preceded by household-member "type":

The Churches

Father: Sushi Church

Mother: Berkland Church

Child: Trash Night Church

Oh, how I swoon.


Rock against Restraint

in case anything happens

What a lovely day! We got a TON of snow, which is not/neither surprising nor enduringly enjoyable, but the sunlight is acutely exquisite.
I had a poem to post here, but I left the power supply to my old computer in Virginia, and I don't have access to any documents. (Plus, this new keyboard is quite an adjustment; typos abound accordingly.) So, I'm gonna give you an old and prized (but oft-neglected) post and go outside.

[This post dates originally from January 14, 2011 11:31 AM]
Rock against Restraint

Car seats. (What do cars eat?)

It has been suggested that one of the reasons for surging rates of childhood obesity is that parents wish to hasten the process of their child's reaching the weight requirements to sit in their OWN seats (without penalty to the parents), finally permitting them to discard their awful, monstrous, plastic carseat contraptions.

In Maine, the threshold for freedom is 80 pounds—upon hearing that, Molly said to me, "I weighed 80 pounds as a sophomore."

Funny that people get so uptight about all this, and no one should ever endanger their children if it is at all avoidable. Then explain school buses—thin metal, no seat belts or temperature control, variously enfeebled operators... but at home, they have to sit in a five-point harness when they go anywhere.

So, we strap 'em in, but what happens if we drive into a pond or lake? There's no emergency release button. Or if there's some kind of danger of explosion? These are the kinds of catastrophic happenings that we're being trained capitally to FEAR, but hyperdriven protective mechanisms of our own device jeopardize as much as they control. That is just like humans.

Anywise, Desmond is a slender chap, and I think about all of the expense (time, money, frustration) that we could spare if we put rolls of quarters into his pockets. But we don't have that kind of money.


Okay okay okay okay

This "break" from blogging daily has been protracted.

I can't honestly say that I'm sorry about that. You probably aren't either, or you wouldn't be if you knew that my inclination upon recognition of such vacuity is to be more vacuous than before in a pre-emptive navelgaze. But enough self-effacement--I don't know about you all, but I DEPLORED the 1990s, which (as a decade) kinda ruined things for everybody with its inability to appreciate an external world. Its umbrella of irony did precious little to shield us from the pernicious Reign of the Redneck that followed, with all of its prideful, manipulative glorification of stupidity.

Now I'm thinking about the 1990s, and I wish dearly that I hadn't begun posting tonight.

Hootie and the Blowfish? Break my neck, please. Twice.

Red Hot Chili Peppers? Are you JOKING?

(I'm torn, because one of my favorite people ever is closely related to one of them, but I suspect that she will take my editorializing in the spirit that intends it.)

One of the best things about being a man is that Anthony Kiedis will never, ever think about my privates. Is "Blood Sugar Sex Majik" a modern concept album about diabetes and intimacy?

My sentences haven't held together, which is not to say that I've not been functioning properly; it's much more for me a matter of having that languid January atmosphere subsume proceedings with a deafening-yet-personable buzzing.

I'm going to go, because I am irascible. But nonetheless enthused. La la la.


Having Had to

Sitting with the end of a long yesterday at this keyboard, I guess it could have been suggested that there squirming shards of ideas resident in an errant nook of my brain. Whether they were nascent or remnant, I'll never know, because I just got so tired that I had to stop.

Today is the same, but I've got a strong feeling that tomorrow will find me reconsituted.

It's raining outside! Do you have ANY idea of how WEIRD that is? 


Good January Things

It is so frightfully cold outside that everything is different. You don't see anybody on the street (pedestrianism being so very passé in these conditions), but upon entry to any establishment, people share an expression of grim resignation, a sort of, "Oh, shit. This is quite serious"--rather like the nanosecond in which you realize that the pepper that you just ate is roughly seventy times hotter than you'd anticpated; you don't yet feel the breadth and/or depth of its effect, but you know that the agony awaiting you is of untold magnitude. (That sentence was LONG.)

It's fundamentally comical, this mutually adversarial relationship with the hostile elements, but it can play very dramatically, especially when you feel singularly implicated. You know, the point at which camera's view selects your face in a rapid series of freeze-frame zooms. Also, there's usually a score--some doomsday sprong, or synchronize percussive gavel-type nonsense--that punctuates it, as if the sudden switch of focus had been inadequate in conveying tension.

At any rate, I'd venture to say that I'm just too cold to accommodate the brash vitriol that I keep reserved for times like this. Besides, there were and are other concerns afoot.

In the midst of this frigid foofaraw, La Befana visited our boys. When they awakened yesterday morning, I presented them with steamed milk and bagels from their favorite local place (whose official name is "The Bohemian Coffee House," even though Desmond has always [from the age of 16 months, when we moved here] referred to it as "The Hash Bar"--despite his never having been exposed to such a term), and it was all good and as easy as a Saturday morning could be. Then, they were going about their business and happened to look into our living room. And there it was--evidence of La Befana's visit.

Arranged for the boys was a pair of neighboring desks, at which sat a world of creative entertainments. There were hundreds of items--secret keys, pipe cleaners, tiny chests full of buttons and fabric swatches, an antique (i.e., HEAVY) rotary-dial phone, pens, paper. I'll just put a picture here:
And another, so that you can see their sweet faces.
Okay, so that one's a bit blurry. But you get the point.

Both boys were thrilled and swept away by the mystery of it all.

And the day-and-a-half since has been intensely creative. Desmond has made bracelets for all of us (I'm wearing mine right now), all sorts of writing and decorating and VERY IMPORTANT telephone calls, and a beautiful pair of puppets from yesterday afternoon:

Desmond's Puppet

Ivor's Puppet

Last night and all of today have been spent dancing raucously to the music that Molly and I gave each of them to complement La Befana's bevy of Important Things.

A resounding success, this celebration was. And this morning, I awoke to this most-gratifying sight, with which I leave you now:


then there is this

It has become very cold. Benb Gallaher is in cryogenic suspension. This is a robot, programmed beforehand by Benb Gallaher, submitting this message to you on this day (which is January 14, 2012, and will remain thus until all clocks and calendars thaw).

The wee ones are caterwauling and caddywompus on account of having exhausted themselves utterly via a daylong dancething that was enacted out of the sheer jubilation accompanying the yestereve arrival of La Befana.

I am still surprised at an outcome that was likely predictable to most everybody else--neither Desmond nor Ivor is remotely near to what you'd (or I'd) consider "average" or "typical." They are so irrepressibly themselves that it awes me.

And now, I have to go put them to bed. But more is gonna happen soon.

(ample elapse) Well, that took forever. So, I'll try to be succinct here, and promise both you and myself a well-developed offering for the morrow (with new pictures and everything).

This concludes the message. Thank you for your cooperation during this continued and compounded frigidity.

A Robot


Getting Gotten


January unabates and intensifies, rendering the sun forgettable even as or when it emerges.

I wish that there were other words, because nothing that I know comes close to depicting the vapid and petulant matter of the fact that I've no control over my non-life except wait no I don't remember the silver lining that I'd devised.

But I’m staring square a heap of expenses that I won’t be able to make because I’m a) not regularly employed and b) not paid punctually for work that I do. All that bullshit about “do something and it will manifest” and “the universe will provide” has done nothing for me but corrode my insides before an angry stack of angrier bills.

Despite the deepening dread that shrouds my everything, I cannot believe that the sole solution for me lies with declaring myself decrepit and surrendering the remainder of what I do have to the disability ratwheel.

Anyway, I am gonna be psyched when the days become longer and creatures start being fancifully foolish on purpose, just 'cause it's a just cause.

And also when I can afford my house. And my car. Because I have a JOB. Which, incidentally, I will LOVE.

And also the far-flung fledges of human majesty in each an all of us burst into capital realities.


All the World's an Age

Aging occurs. At all times. Are we left with any choice but to embrace it? Frankly, no. But does that work?

As we’ve seen, in an age during which ageless stars perish at ostensible ages, most of us unwitting players in a left-behind series would scratch our wispily covered heads if only they retained any aherence to a commonly held belief that everybody actually lives an actual life. I know that I don’t have a lick of confidence in that system’s universal application. There’s too much perceived entitlement to exemption from decay. But none of us have that.

I would say that my parents’ generation—the “Baby Boomers”—are largely responsible for this mainstream resuscitation of the same “Fountain of Youth” fixation that led Ponce de Leon to “discover” Florida—which is one of history’s great ironies, considering. (The Baby Boomers have also made life extremely difficult for every subsequent generation, but more about that in other posts.)

Here’s my attitude about it: In order to be young, young people NEED for old people to BE OLD. And this boisterous denial of aging, while a feeble tendril of denying mortality, is the PITS for every beholder.

David Bowie (née Jones, it's been suggested), recently 65, had always conducted himself relatively honorably in this realm. He continued to have things like ideas, and when that wasn’t the case, he had the decency and good sense to run off and be in a play or what have you.

In 2002, however, he wrote a song entitled “Never Get Old.” I’ve never heard the song, but I was around near the time of its composition, and I believe that there was even talk of "Never Get Old" being the album’s title. Anyway, I have read the lyrics, and it’s self-aware and all that, but I can’t help but feel critical toward his even suggesting such a trite, stale idea. Just think of the ways in which the world could experience incalculable betterment with an attitude shift as represented by a song called “Get Old.”

Yes. Get the fuck OLD. Be as excited about turning 61 as you were about turning 7. Of course, you’re still able to be you—even more so, actually, now that you’re not trying to magically transcend the aging process.  

So, have a wonderful day becoming old, please. I will, starting now. Or then, I mean. Meant.


Characters (with and without Spaces)

Let's begin here.

Now, thus refined, let's continue.

My name is Benb Gallaher, as everyone that knows me on occasion sometimes knows. That’s not my given name. My given name is the far-less-challenging “Benjamin.” This happens to be a name that I rather like. I am pleased that my parents gave it to me.

Even though it’s a name of which I am fond, its derivatives and diminutives comprise a frightfully sticky wicket. I was plenty pleased as a young youngster to be called “Benji.” Except that ratty dog of the same name was a mammoth irritant. So, by the time I turned 8ish, it was truncated to “Ben”—a handle that I detested but saw myself as never being able to escape. I tried very hard to like it, even if it is the Americanized pronounciation of the past tense of “be.” I was regaled with huckamucka “How ya Ben?” and "I've Ben Working the [Expletive] Railroad" quips until whatever trite saying that means forever came true like one’s own prophesy of one’s own non-event.  

Anyway, I gradually became accustomed to turning my oversized head several hundred times daily. But, as I said, I never felt “right” about the name, just as I never felt okay in any other department of living that possessed any significance. And so it went until the end of 7th grade at West Frederick Middle School, when some friends and I were courted by teacherly personages to study Russian during the following year. (The Soviet bloc had just dissolved, so it was all Jesus Jones and “Winds of Change” and whatnot.)

A primary selling point of Russian-language scholarship was that it entailed learning a new ALPHABET in addition to new sound-and-meaning intersections. The Cyrillic alphabet was terribly fascinating to me, for reasons that I continue to understand, even with my shrinking brain. One aspect in particular that I found riveting was the presence in the alphabet of letters that contained no standalone phonetic value. This was as good as poetry to me. I’ll post them vertically, for effect.

































If you will, please note the 4th character from the end (Ь). It’s called a miyaki-znak, and its purpose is to soften the ending consonant of a word like one seeks to soften a blow or a stool. While that’s a very-esteemed purpose, I was into the absurdity of how it looked like an eternally lowercased b, and I wondered what would happen if I were to append it to the desultory “Ben.”

The results were marvelous. Nothing like that extra b could stay silent for long, and suddenly, my name was two syllables, had a distinct bounce to it, and rhymed with “Brenda.” I was swept away.

That was a long, long time ago, but I continue to cherish the name. Molly’s never called me anything else. And people get so uptight about it—whether someone acknowledges it is a failsafe identifier of dullness or salient guardedness. Generally, I see someone’s decision to continue calling me “Ben” as presumptuous and passive-aggressive in that dismissive way that none of us should brandish at one another’s expense.

A recent membership of mine to Vile Social Utilities Whereby People Can Choose to Forget What You're Actually Like involves this kooky thing known as "MyLife" (let's all pray that we'll have no more social utilities named after Billy Joel songs). I have very little understanding as to what its differentiating characteristics are or could be vis-à-vis other, identical social utilities, although nomenclature does, apparently, matter, however marginally.

In any case, MyLife thinks that I’m really, really into finding other people that share my name, like that’s a worthwhile thing to spend MyLife doing. And, every morning, it notifies me of my self-generated uniqueness.

I Concede, with Apologies

It can now be revealed that the colossal post-in-process of which I spoke yesterday pertained to having Multiple Sclerosis and the horrors of navigating the Social-Security disability process and how I could live in nearly ANY other country and not have to worry about the affordability and accessibility of healthcare. I'm happy to say that I have discarded said post, even though it had already occupied hours of my time--in part because I feel such anger toward the various hamfisted forces of bossiness obscuring the most-precious aspects of being a Human Person, that I can't even subject myself to it. It's taken way too much energy already. I hope that you understand.


Whoa Is Me

* I'm in the midst of writing a colossal post that I would not deign to complete tonight (or even tomorrow, probably), so this is an irascible stopgapparatus--not a truffle, but a trifle.

Whoa is me.

Yeah, I mean it.

Do you know Whoa?

Well, that's me.

I have pretty much always believed, and this is in keeping with the integrity of my fitful profession as an editor, that correcting the grammatical foibles of others when it's not solicited falls strictly in the jurisdiction of a-wipes, but some of what I've seen recently has been thoughtlessly stilted.

(e.g.,"tender hooks" for "tenterhooks")

(or, the very title of this very, very post.)

also, sayings like "tough row to hoe" sees "row" replaced with "road"--such that the figure's meaning is transformed, from

"the work involved is comparatively disproportionate to the task"


"prostitution is not particularly lucrative in that vicinity."

Portland, ME (which, both clearly and erroneously, calls itself a city, and expects that its doing so will substantiate such an asinine claim) has had this tedious "Life is good." brand-a-thon/campaignery in recent months as Vacationland's target market has begun honing its focus upon the importation of wealthy retirees (never mind the thousands of STARVING retirees already here). Anyway, this is what they had to say in their gigantor end-of-year salvo:

Life is good.


Direct Me to the Nearest Surgeon

Hi, Everybody--

As a person that can no longer umbrella his mistakes with newness, I humbly cry uncle toward Blogger and its unique capacity cooperate as it sees fit, which is increasingly seldom. I would swear at it, but to pillory a program is one step too abstract--the computer is behaving, and my family is blurrily zipping about, and I don't wish for any of these real-life subjects/objects to think themselves, even for a second, to be recipients of my contumely.

I am working at switching this blog over to the official Good Ideas on Paper website, which will also feature a pantload of professional information and the flagrant suchlike as well as the enigmatic furthermore. Thanks infinity to Rob McClellan for having bestowed the domain name unto me as a holiday gift.

So, please pardon my roiling. Thank you. 


Unraveling Continues Apace

Thoughts are good for when
Oh, no they're not. But they are frequently thought.

Thoughts get thought, regardless of their condiments.

Okay. Vandalism is dorkdom.

Be that as it may, I know some spot-on, terrific people that have committed vandalism. Also, I have also seen some EXTRAORDINARY vandalism and, while I feel that the means is the end (mooting justifications), I am cool with being happy to see it when it's inspired and/or inspiring. I just don't want to mess with other peoples' property. I veer determinedly in deference to the priority problems of others. If people screwy enough to claim exclusive, enforceable, piously sanctioned ownership over anything external, then they've got bigger fish to fry than I can fathom. I'll take the stairs.

So, I thought of this great, nearly effortless, act of vandalism that can be committed with relative ease. All that it involves is the imposition of an umlaut.Two diacritical dots; minutes, at least, of mild amusement.

Find a United Parcel Service noun (truck, office, what have you), and umlaut (it's a verb now) the vowel on it.


That's not necessary. The umlaut I mean. But it IS.

Alright. Part two of 21 questions. (It's actually them in their entirety, so there's repetition, but I digress.) It's very cold, and I have no money. Seven dollars, which is more letters than it is dollars.

Here it is: the unfettered sequence of 21 questions without the obnoxious code error things.

Do you think that Benb Gallaher would ever do community service voluntarily?
I guess that I would, but it’d have to be unstructured, like when I go out with Desmond to pick up litter. Passersby look at us as if we’re atoning for an undisclosed (unspeakable?) deed or spree. I guess that we are, kinda, but I just dig picking up trash. It’s not a fetish or anything, in case you’re a pervert who’d think that. But why do they have signs that say “Put Litter in Its Place”? The only place for littler is, by nature, an inappopriate place for refuse. So, the public is merely following the sign’s orders. The signs should change to “Put Trash into Trash Containers”, but no one actually cares because nothing actually matters.

Do you think Benb Gallaher prefers Coke to Pepsi?

What an awful question to countenance. The short answer is “NO,” because I find them both disgusting. If you ever want a real soda, try the Cream Soda from Squamscot Beverage Co. (http://www.nhsoda.com)
0o you think Benb Gallaher is good with kids?

Our children like their mother much better than me, but \who wouldn’t? She’s absolutely wondeirful.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is dumber than Jessica Simpson?

Y’all are some kinda mean-spirited for asking a question like that. Even though it’s been suggested that I’m intelligent, I am treated on a near-daily basis like a hapless and bumbling fuckup. I don’t enjoy it.

Do you think Benb Gallaher shops 'til they drop?

‘Til I drop what? My belongings? My purchases? My self? The act?
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is greedy?
I’m not. It’s true.
Does Benb Gallaher have a nice smile?

I am smiling RIGHT NOW for whomever suggested that.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher can eat more than 3 Big Macs at a time?

Several years ago, I could have done so very easily. I have an unidentified friend that would only eat ice when we were teenagers because it was low in calories. I decided, one day when I was 17 or so, to count a day’s caloric intake. You know, just for kicks. The total?
Have you ever missed seeing Benb Gallaher?

I’ve certainly missed seeing and being seen. People tend not to realize how resident they are in my heart.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is tone deaf?

What if I was or were?
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is a poser?

Most of life is posing; just reflect for a moment on how often you’re obliged to care about things that are utterly unimportant to you. The boundary between what something what something means and what that thing actually is, is nebulous on a good day.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher has ever failed a class?

I have failed several classes. Some of them I’ve failed more than once.
Is Benb Gallaher fun to be around?

That’s outdated information.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher has ever smoked?

Yes. And I would if
Would you blow a kiss to Benb Gallaher for fun?

This person clearly likes to have fun, and I think that that’s just great.
Do you want to give Benb Gallaher a high-five?!

I tend not to suffer high-fiving. It’s unnatural. My lack of depth perception leads to its being a rather protracted slapstick routine.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher has ever fantasized about you?

That’s good, because I am sure that I've not ever done so. Anybody that isn’t Molly is as attractive as, say, a stapler.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher voted for Obama?

I did—joyfully, but I expect that I won’t.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher would turn you in to the FBI if they asked?

I would not want to make their lives any easier. Those people are so sure that they know things about things that I feel sick to my stomach almost as much as I feel embarrassed for them.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is cute?

I think that one of my parents answered this. And it wasn't even my mom!
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is funny?

Do you think that Benb Gallaher would ditch a date?

That’s true, especially that I only date Molly F. But even before, I didn’t get my license until I was 19, so I would’ve had to walk home. I was never really a “dater,” though. Especially given that “dating” has become a euphemism for sexual intercourse. The perceived need to sexualize friendships is offensive to me; I see promiscuity as being tantamount to consumerism.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is a good friend?

I’ve missed many of my friends so deeply, and for so long, that I don’t even know what. And I remember tedious details—like the ID on Sam Zebovitz’s license plate (VBF 920), or Colleen Flanagan’s phone number from 2002 (860.729.7221), or Andy Fisher’s grandmother’s birthday (November 17), to name just a smattering—that do little to abet the process of staying in touch. Sorry, everybody—I thought that it would be different.
Would Benb Gallaher ever dress up in a mascot outfit and run around?
That really depends upon the cause and the costume. Additionally, I was unable to run for about seven years due to hemiparesis from MS.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is a good friend?

Then come on over! Shit!
Have you ever fantasized about Benb Gallaher?

Well, that’s good, because I’ve never fantasized about being the subject of a fantasy.
Would Benb Gallaher ever hit a girl?

Never. I am inflexible about the respect and equality to which all people are entitled in every relationship.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher has ever smoked?

I have, but many people that I meet seem not to believe that. I think that it’s because I wear neckties so often
Do you think that Benb Gallaher has ever played beer pong?

Actually, I have not. What is it?
Do you think that Benb Gallaher could key a car for revenge?

Yeah, no. Strictly within the purview of “the weiner people.” Entitled moronity, straight up.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher has ever punched someone?
Not since being led to believe that it was the only way to function as a male specimen. So, not since my age was a single digit. And I’m clumsy and cataplectic, so I don’t really know how to inflict violence.
Do you think Benb Gallaher is cool?

People are free to make their own determinations.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher has ever stolen from work?

I am going to say nothing except this sentence about that.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher thinks wine in a box is classy?

For which class?
Geometry—Yes! (It’s cubic.)
Shop—Most assuredly not.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher still wet their bed in 6th grade?

My bedroom was the one closest to the bathroom in my house. And I had a window out of which I could pee if ever an emergency were to occur. (I didn’t mind peeing out of windows—in fact, back in 8th grade, I peed out of the window in my 6th-period Math class. Mrs. Botker would not let me go to the bathroom, quipping at my pleas, “No, you can’t go to the bathroom. But you can fix those drapes over there.” She gestured flippantly toward the window. Our class was on the third floor [Room 302?] of West FrederickMiddle School, and we had these dauntingly massive windows. I had to climb up on some shelving to adjust the drapes. Once I got up there, on my knees with the window open, I really had no alternative but to do what I did. This deed was not a cause célèbre until later on. Having to pee is a state of being whose “airtime” is not commensurate with its relative ubiquity. I had better bladder control then than I do now.) So, no.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is cute?

Well, I think that YOU’RE cute, screen.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is socially awkward?

That’s all well and good, but I swear.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher can cook?

I love to feed my people, but cooking is an entirely different story. So, the official answer: Not really, and not well. Too critical of self. I am in therapy.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is an underachiever?

This is a loaded question.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is religious?

This is correct, although that question is inspiring me tp recall that I had a dream last night featuring Desmond Tutu.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher likes blue eyes?

Not especially, actually.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher has ever failed a test?

Most tests that I’ve taken in recent years have garnered scores that would’ve disgraced me in the past.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher would bail you out of jail?

Of course I would! Do you know where I can find a job?
Does Benb Gallaher have a nice body?

Yes, yes. I spend my time watching it age, expanding and contracting with the seasons like a doorframe.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is a good kisser?

Certainly, a good kisser named Benb was not to be found in the 7th grade after-school bus queue. After severai minutes of calling for him, we dertemined that he did not exist. Still, the crowd at least 60 people formed around me and Bridget Moore (my 5th grade love; we broke up then because I depressed. I was medicated inappropriately for it [i.e., max adult dosage of the powerful trcyclic Imipramine], but that was because our crooked family physician was receiving incentives from the drug company. Never mind that I would suffer projectile vomiting if ever I missed a dose, or that I can't really remember three years of my life. I'm pretty sure that they were dismal, anyhow).
I always promised myself that if I had any chance to regain her favor, I would never falter). The kiss was strange, and it sucked, but people were screaming and applauding up in our faces. I was so freaked out that I had to break up our relationship. She’s an excellent person, and I’m very grateful to know her. We’re still incredibly close friends.
She’s Desmond’s godmother (should that be capitalized?).
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is a tree hugger?

I’ve hugged many—some out of utilty, some out of sympathy (not only are they stuck to the ground, but they are subject to the vagaries of both the elements AND other species), and some as a proclamation about everything.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher still sleeps with a teddy bear?

Ha. I sleep alone, because I’m impossible.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is smarter than George W. Bush?

Everybody is as smart as everybody else. It’s the fucking truth. Sometimes it can be more obvious, and sometimes it can be less obvious.
Does Benb Gallaher dress poorly?

I’m wearing clothes that were outgrown by a dear friend’s teenage son in 2004.
Would you trust Benb Gallaher with your life?

I don’t know that I trust me with my own life, but I certainly advocate living for everyone.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher would look good in a mini-skirt?

I like the way that this answerer thinks. I love to wear clothing that diverges from the monochromatic monstrosity that is men’s attire in this culture. These big, capable men are afraid of color, or of anything that creates a sense of humor or warmth about what they project. I will concede that mini-skirts are seldom warm, but someone among you must understand what I’m trying to say here.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher has ever stolen money from their friends?

True. Where’s the fun in that?
Do you think that Benb Gallaher puts 'hoes' before 'bros'?

It is an illusion that they’re necessarily different. (I bet that one'll rankle some relatives.)
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is cute?

Mean either.
Would you want to see Benb Gallaher dance like Michael Jackson for money?

It wouldn’t be a thrill, because I tend not to trust my movements (though I think that that is on the verge of changing because I care a lot less, or at least no longer have the energy to care). What kind of money are we talking about here? Sone people would pay out the wazoo to see an intermittent cripple shake a tail feather.
Do you think Benb Gallaher has ever pulled an all-nighter?

Yes. For much better and for far worse.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher would do anything to succeed?

Whomever wrote this obviously does not think highly of me, and that is their prerogative. I have no choice but to respect their answer, even if it's far from true.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher has a funny looking nose?

Opinions. Distilled. I think that this one, too, might be a parental answer.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is tone deaf?

Man, it’s those tones that are deaf! How many times do
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is an underachiever?

If I knew the first thing about achievement, I likely would’ve done it by now.
Do you think Benb Gallaher drives too fast?

Everybody defines things differently. Would you think that I drove too fast if you knew that I was blind in one eye AND had Narcolepsy?
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is socially awkward?

You have no idea of how much I could swear that I am in an eternal underwear dream.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher is hot?

To the touch, definitely. My internal temperature is conspicuously low—95 or 96 degrees Fahrenheit—and I am famously exothermic. I sleep alone because of this.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher would ever betray you?

Dear Friend, I do hope that you don’t see my having posted this anonymously attributed question/answer as constituting a betrayal of any kind, because it’s not intended thus. Besides, I don’t think that you can change your answer, Sucka.
Do you think that Benb Gallaher grinds their teeth while sleeping?

I am an incorrigible bruxist. Dentists hate me, but that’s okay. It’s generally mutual.